Located in the middle of southern area, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most populous city of Vietnam. The city is a major transportation hub connecting with the regional provinces and the gateway of the Southeast Asia.
Even at first glance, Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City has left a deep impression to the tourists as the largest, busiest and most dynamic city in Vietnam. The colorful streets, bustling traffic, the crowded markets with full choices of shopping, all have made a unique Saigon – the pearl of the Far East.
For you who wish a wonderful and memorable trip in Ho Chi Minh City, the top 10 best attractions in Ho Chi Minh City will get you all the information you need to ensure that you will not miss anything in this charming city.
War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is one of the must-see places in Ho Chi Minh City that first opened to the public in 1975 as the “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes” after the first independent days.
It is a lively evidence of one of the longest and most brutal time of Vietnam War with many artifacts, photos, weapons and war equipments of American military on display such as fighter planes, guillotines, helicopter with rocket launchers, canons, tanks and nearly 6.8 tones of conventional bomb. All the weapons were used by American military soldiers during the war lasted from 1945s to 1975. The other highlight of War Remnants Museum is “tiger cages” which was built with the same size as in Con Dao prison. These cages used by the Southern Vietnamese Government to keep the political prisoners. It used to keep up to 14 people inside just with 2.7m x 1.5m x 3m each.
The museum also has some galleries imitated the Southwest Border War, the war to protect the northern borders, the plot and scheme of the hostile forces… The museum also has pavilions where display the traditional culture of Vietnam and Water Puppet Room.
Location: 28 Vo Van Tan, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: Daily from 07.30 – 12.00 and 13:30 – 17:00
Reunification Palace is a unique architectural work of architect Ngo Viet Thu. Palace was constructed on July 1st, 1962 and was inaugurated on Oct 31st, 1966. The symbolic Reunification Palace made its name in global history a tank of North Vietnamese Military crashed through the main gate in 1975, ended the war of Vietnamese people against American Army and started the new era of Vietnam Independence.
When designing the Reunification Palace, Ngo Viet Thu wished to create cultural work, therefore his work on the buildings was constructed according to ancient philosophy, oriental rituals and national spirit. The architecture combined harmoniously between modern architecture and traditional Oriental architecture.
The Reunification Palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City where you should not missed in each trip. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the palace has secret rooms, antique furniture and a command bunker within its exotic corridors. Nowadays, the Reunification Palace is still host significant national event of the country including APEC summits.
Location: Man Ky Khoi Ngia Street near Ben Thanh Market
Opening hours: Daily from 07:30-12:00 and 13:00-16:00
Notre Dame Cathedral
Situated in a quiet corner of the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, Notre Dame Cathedral (or Notre-Dame Basilica) is one of the famous long-age cathedrals in Southern Vietnam. The cathedral was built in 1880s by the French colonist and was given the name after the statue of “Peaceful Notre Dame” was installed in 1959. The cathedral was given its official name of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica for 3 year later in 1962 by the Vatican.
This magnificent building is also one of the most tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City because of its neo-Romanesque architecture and sacred atmosphere. The building war entirely made from the red bricks imported from France with the height of 60m including two main towers and 6 bronze bells. The scared statue of the Virgin Mary stands in front of the main building. The statue was made in Rome, was famous for having shed tears in 2005.
Location: Paris Square, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: Notre Dame Cathedral is a religious place where masses are held every Sunday at 9:30 am.
Saigon Post Office
As one of the most popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon Central Post Office is well-known as the largest post office in Vietnam. The building was constructed and completed during 5 years from 1886 and 1891 by famous European architect Gustave Eiffel who also designed the famous Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. This place is more than a working post office. You can exchange money, hunting for stamps and books, sending letters… or even if you do not have any mails or postcards to send back home, you should till get into the Post Office to see and photograph the stunning interior architecture.
Situated near the Notre Dame Cathedral, the two tourist sites offer a good chance for travelers to visit both in one trip with an imagination of the life in Vietnam during the reign of Indochinese Empire. The Central Post Office is not only a historical place where people could experience a fascinating glimpse through the history, the post office is also a functioning post office that encourage people to send a letter or post card from here. You can find out more from the souvenir shops at the main office selling the postcards, lovely souvenirs and lacquer wares but the prices may be higher than elsewhere.
Location: 2 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 7 am to 8 pm
Ben Thanh Market
Although you must have spent many years shopping at several markets and commercial centers in your country, that shopping has become a boring and ordinary task to you. But you will see the differences when spend time to discover and get lost in an Asia market. You will know why when once visit Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. You will see the vibrant atmosphere and colorful stands in one of the most bustling market in Vietnam, Ben Thanh Market is also the must-see place that you should not missed when have a chance to visit Ho Chi Minh City.
The market was built in 1870 and also once called Les Halles Centrales by the French and named again Ben Thanh in 1912. Through many ups and downs, Ben Thanh Market has experienced from a wet market in the first day after created to become one of the oldest market and one of the symbols of Ho Chi Minh City. Visit Ho Chi Minh City and experience the “real Vietnam”, your Ho Chi Minh City tour will not be completed without a visit to Ben Thanh Market, indeed!
Location: The intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai Street District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 pm Daily/Night market: 7:00 PM – 00:30 pm
Cu Chi Tunnel
Leaving the bustling Ho Chi Minh City behind and travel about 70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City (around 2.5 hours) near the Cambodian border to explore a magical complex of underground tunnels which was used by Vietnamese soldiers during the long-lasting war of America. There are totally over 200km of tunnels, this network of tunnels was once and forever become a legendary when playing a very important part in American war in 1960s. The tunnels included hospital, kitchens, schools, meeting and sleeping areas… which allowed the Vietnamese soldiers to control a large area nearby and nowadays it is absolutely amazing underground city!
Taking a fascinating trip around Cu Chi Tunnels, you will learn more about the heroic history of Vietnamese people in “iron land” and the living conditions as well as hardships they faced and incredible characteristics to maintain the life under the tunnels.
Location: 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City
Half-day Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi tunnel tour
Cao Dai Temple
Introduced into Vietnam in the 1920s, Caodaism has combined the elements from Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism Christianity and Islam and mixed them together in an effort to make the perfect religion. “Cao Dai” can be literally understood as “high palace”.
Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh Province is a stunning example of the most impressive religious buildings in all senses. The temple was built during 20 years and completed in 1956, it is absolutely the original…and the best where you will see the incredible building’s architecture. The temple are decorated with gold and polished glass, the overall architecture elaborately created to make the temple become a unique with a part of pagoda, a part of cathedral, a part of mosque and even a part of fairytale. Outside the temple is adorned by brightly-colored dragons which guarded and protected the temple. Do not scare to see that sacred animal because they are as much fantasy as fearsome!
Tourists will be welcome to visit the temple, have a great chance to admire the amazing architecture and learn more about a unique religion of Vietnam.
Location: Tay Ninh province (100 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City)
You may like 1 Day Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Tunnel
Bitexco Tower And Sky Deck
With the height of 262 m, the Bitexco Financial Tower is a massive skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City including 68 floors with full options of bars, shops, restaurants, and cafes. Tourists can take an elevator to the Sky Deck and enjoy a panoramic view of the Saigon River and the rest of Ho Chi Minh City. If you are a fan of skyscrapers and high buildings, Bitexco Financial Tower should be listed as one of the hot destinations in Ho Chi Minh City.
It will be an interesting experience when sipping on the tasty drink and admire the cityscapes on 52-floor Alto Heli Bar which known as the highest place in Ho Chi Minh City to enjoy 360-degree view of the city.
Location: District 1, near Ben Thanh market, Ho Chi Minh City
Cho Lon Market & China Town
Cho Lon (Binh Tay Market) is considered as the largest Chinatown in Vietnam where you will find out a lot of thing to do. The reason why tourists put Cho Lon in the top best market to go in Ho Chi Minh City because the vendors and sellers do not annoy the buyers as much as they do in other markets.
As one of the most popular sites in Ho Chi Minh City attracts many tourists even Chinese and Taiwanese, Cho Lon is really an interesting place to learn about the historical and cultural importance as well as see the classical Chinese architecture. The market is busy, crowded and lively with small aisles selling all kinds of products. It is really an interesting experience when roaming around and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere that has existed for hundreds of years.
The Cho Lon market area includes Thien Hau Temple. The two Buddhist temples with Chinese-style architecture are also the charming places to visit when traveling in Ho Chi Minh City.
Location: Hau Giang Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: Cholon Market doesn’t have any formal operating time but most of the actions are in the morning.
Emperor Jade Pagoda
Emperor Jade Pagoda (Vietnamese: Chua Phuoc Hai), also known as Tortoise Pagoda, is one of the five most important pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda was constructed by the Cantonese community at the turn of the 20th Century and represented as a branch of Mahayana Buddhism which was practiced widely in Vietnam. The pagoda was built mainly to worship the Emperor Jade or “the God of the Heavens” who dominants in the main hall and with the highest position, the Emperor decides who will pass the gate or refused. On the left side is the Kim Hua the goddess of fertility stands next to several of women and children. The goddess is believed that will bless and bring an offspring for the childless couples who are praying for that. In another corner, you will see the King of Hell and his minions who undoubtedly get those the Jade Emperor rejects. The god of hell will send the sinners to one of the 10 levels of the hell depending on their guilt.
Emperor Jade Pagoda is a scared and mystical shrine in Ho Chi Minh City where the locals usually come to pray and offer the flowers, and light candles and joss sticks. The pagoda will look a little bit busy and crowded with many worshippers coming and going, everyday. Serene and sacred atmosphere filled with thin smoke and mysterious statues that make the temple’s charm.
Location: 73 Mai Thi Luu, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00
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